Acer Australia has reiterated its commitment to the retail market as it embarks on a bold new strategy to greatly improve its SMB market share. The Taiwanese PC brand this week launched its new Elite Partner Program, which aims to reward and recognise business associates that help Acer to achieve its goal of being number one in this fast growing segment of the market.

As a company that operates almost equaling in the B2C and B2B markets, news of this development and Acer’s stated goal of being the market share leader, caused us to ask if this would lead to a reduction in focus on the retail market and Acer’s retail customers. The company responded: “Not at all. Retail remains a very important part of our business, but we have a strong offering for the SMB market, so we want to grow this area of our business.”

Walter Olson, who will be heading up Acer’s Elite Partner Program in his role as the head of channel and distribution, outlined the main aims of the system.

“The main benefit to channel partners being part of the Acer Elite Partner Program is receiving formal recognition for their support of Acer and having a market-leading rebate and Marketing Development Fund program,” he said.

“We have a very strong channel ecosystem that has supported Acer for many years in the Australian market. As a channel-focused organisation, our revised Partner Program specifically addresses our commitment to our channel and assists them in attacking the SMB market within Australia. Our focus is re-establishing Acer as a brand of choice within the SMB market and providing commercial-grade solutions to our partners and customers.”

The two verbs that stand out in this explanation are ‘attacking’ and ‘re-establishing’. Olson is being very transparent here: Acer has slipped over the past years but its regrouping will be aggressive. One of the main weapons in Acer’s arsenal is its local assembly line, which is still up and running despite predictions to the contrary, and enables Acer to configure and reimage PCs with alacrity. There will also be strong support on a marketing level, Olson confirmed.

“Acer Elite Partners will benefit from dedicated marketing support and accrual, including customised advertising programs and access to Acer marketing materials. In addition to this, they will have access to exclusive events and training sessions to assist in the growth of the Acer brand.”

Acer’s local channel partners include Ingram Micro, Synnex and BlueChip IT.